Don't get me wrong. I'm not in bad shape. I'm in great shape. I'm
fit. But I haven't trained for this. I can run five miles in
forty minutes. Immediately afterwards I can swim a mile in half an
hour. But I haven't trained specifically for this. And
this - walking miles and miles and miles through the
streets of Madrid - is her milieu. I'm the visitor.
I'm fit for the life I usually lead. But here I'm on foreign turf.
I'm in her neck of the woods here. Really. The muscles
called on now aren't usually called on. Their tendency is to want
to stop, to lie down, to take a shower. But there's no time for
that. This is our time together, hers and mine. It's now or never.
A brief rest, less than a minute of respite, before I stand up
again and somehow get walking again. Because in another week there
won't be this opportunity, there's an unswerving intention to be
with her, to experience with her, to explore her new world with
her, while my legs - no, my entire body - is screaming
"Stop! Please stop! No more!". But when I look over at
her, it's I and not their debilitating ache who gets the vote. I
get to call it, so I say "OK, where to next Girly?".
This isn't a travelogue. I'm not writing one and nor will I,
although given what we've seen, I could. Believe me: it would
include just about everything there is to see and do here. But this
conversation isn't about that. This conversation is a celebration
of relationship. It's even more than that actually. It's a new
beginning of a relationship with Life itself. This is when
the daughter shows the father around her new world. In
this new world, the daughter is the mother to the father (as William Shakespeare may
In this new world, the father is the ward and the daughter the
custodian. And although it seems it's suddenly all
backwards, I realize she and I have completed the first
twenty years of our relationship together, and this is the setting,
this is the turf, this is the scene in which the next
twenty begin. And in this scene I'm literally
dragging my body along with me to be with her. I
dare not stop - if I did, it wouldn't want to start
again at least for a few hours or more. I'm not going to have this
be about my body complaining so I don't give voice to what it wants
to say. Instead, I say to her "OK, where to next Girly?".